Invisible Man | The Wonderful World of Carminelitta

Newness for your ears: Invisible Man, Shinobi Stalin

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Cover artwork for Invisible Man

I discovered Shinobi Stalin quite a few years ago and I told you about him on several occasions, including with my review of his debut album Zombie School and with an interview I did with the Orlando-based artist, so it is with great pleasure that I now present you his sophomore album.
The highly-anticipated Invisible Man was released last week and it was definitely worth the wait. With this new project, Shinobi Stalin proves, once again, how gifted he is when it comes to penning lyrics and expressing them over instrumentals. While he invited several of his frequent collaborators, including his Vets of Kin crew, as well as other independent hip-hop artists such as Roc Marciano, he clearly shines on this project, from start to finish.
From the very first seconds of Anticipation, a heart-felt track, he steps out of the shadow and goes straight into the heart of the matter, taking the listeners on a journey through his thoughts and feelings, equipped with clever rhymes and seamless flow. Here Not There, which could have been the subtitle for the album, is probably the best explanation of its name. The beautiful, slightly hypnotic instrumental serves a perfect backdrop to what is probably the most relatable track for me, as it describes how you can sometimes be present physically but actually somehow aloof. This is something you can also find later on Energon, where Shinobi Stalin explains how he is more of an observer, something I can definitely relate to. 
The MC then proceeds to touch upon relationships (Game Should Never Play), politics, history and the media (ControlHis Story), or his Black-Puerto Rican heritage (Nigger Rican), among other topics. He also offers an ode to his city of Orlando, FL, nicknamed the Ozone, on the aptly-titled Welcome to Ozone, and invites the Vets of Kin and Kap Kallous for N.I.K.E., a posse cut that makes my ears quite happy. Another guest worth mentioning is Mike Rosa, who is none other than his brother, as well as a talented skateboarder, and joins him for Brothers Influence.
In addition to the great quality of Shinobi Stalin’s lyrics and flow, I can’t but mention the wonderful instrumentals, provided by talented producers Reeplay, Abbott, Tempermental, Soy Is Real and Shinobi Stalin himself, among others. The different soundtracks match his flow perfectly and create a very pleasant atmosphere, which helps increasing the level of replayability (yep, that’s a word). I need to give a special mention to Control, which, in addition to being my favourite track in terms of lyrical content, benefits from the most beautiful instrumental you could ever dream of (shouts out to Tone Blare). Also, Sing The Blues is a wonderful combination of lovely production and honest lyrics that stands out as one of the most personal and compelling tracks of the album. 
Overall, Invisible Man is a comprehensive and cohesive project that serves both as a worthy follow-up to Zombie Skool and a testament to the MC’s brand of quality, timeless-sounding music. If you are just discovering Shinobi Stalin, this should make you want to dig deeper and listen to the rest of his discography, both on his own and with his crew.

You can now discover Invisible Man by heading to Shinobi Stalin’s Bandcamp page, or simply by clicking on the link below. Enjoy, share and support!

As a bonus, here is the official video for Welcome to Ozone, complete with cameos from his Vets of Kin crew members and other Orlando MCs.

Find out more about Shinobi Stalin on Facebook & Twitter.

Interview: Shinobi Stalin

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Picture of Shinobi Stalin

I first told you about Shinobi Stalin when I reviewed his debut album Zombie Skool last year (time flies!) and as he is about to release his new project entitled Invisible Man, I got a chance to catch up with him and ask a few questions. The Orlando-based MC and producer, who is part of the Vets of Kin and Civil Mics among others, has quite a few interesting things to say and it is a real pleasure for me to share those with you now. I want to thank him for taking some time to answer my questions, and Civil Mics’ creator Twist for putting me on his music in the fist place. Without further delay, here is Shinobi Stalin, in his own words…

First of all, for people who are not familiar with you and your music, who is Shinobi Stalin? I have to say the name somewhat puzzled me when I first heard it. Any interesting story behind this seemingly unlikely association?

I am just your run of the mill half Black Puerto Rican, Eastside Ozone rhyme spitter, nothing special about me except the fact that I write pretty good. My rhyme name is on some middle school shit honestly. I came up with the first part in like 7th grade. My favorite game on the Sega Genesis is “Shinobi 3”. He wasn’t a typical ninja all in the shadows sneaking up on fools. He wore all white and walked throwing daggers exploding his enemies. I took that, and saw the daggers Jewells dropped and the enemies as the minds of those listening creating the spark and big bang. The Stalin part came as a joke. My homie Kazarian and I used to make beats at his crib, play a game called “Medal of Honor” on the PC, and watch mad WW2 documentaries. We called ourselves the Axis Power Click just messing around and that’s how I got the Stalin part. I took Stalin because he was known to erase his enemies or threats from history. This dude would literally take cats names out of books, take their faces off of photographs, and send cats to Siberia, homie was nuts. 1 + 1 = 2 and the name sounded rather unique so I ran with it.

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Newness for your ears: Bomb Run, Shinobi Stalin

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Picture of Shinobi Stalin

While 2010 was quite an awesome year for Civil Mics, with many projects and singles, I had a feeling it was only the beginning. When I listen to Bomb Run, the latest single from Shinobi Stalin, I am definitely convinced of this. After the release of his first full-length Zombie Skool back in 2008, the MC is currently working on the follow-up, entitled Invisible Man. I am obviously looking forward to hearing the new project, as well as all the solo releases from the Vets of Kin member scheduled for this year. From the very first seconds of Bomb run, I was caught up in the great prod, courtesy of Tek The Intern. The atmosphere of the track is quite dark and moody, almost hypnotic and it was clearly impossible not to nod my head to its rhythm. To complement this beautiful instrumental, Shinobi Stalin’s flow and lyrics are on point. Matching some of the feelings I may have in regards to the state of the world and its future, the words are a mixture between pessimism and realism. There is also a sort of martial feeling to it, which I could already notice in several Vets of Kin earlier releases. To put it simply, I will play this track quite regularly, to indulge in the beautiful darkness of the production and the quality of Shinobi Stalin’s flow and lyrics.

You can indulge as well, by going to Shinobi Stalin’s Bandcamp, or simply by clicking on the link below. You can also download Bomb Run HERE

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